Pro Stock

Last updated
Allen Johnson's Mopar Dodge Avenger Pro Stock

Pro Stock is a class of drag racing featuring "factory hot rods". The class is often described as "all motor", due to the cars not using any form of forced induction such as turbocharging or supercharging, or other enhancements, like nitrous oxide, along with regulations governing the modifications allowed to the engines and the types of bodies used.



The National Hot Rod Association Pro Stock class emerged from the production-based Super Stock in 1970 [1] with a more liberal set of rules and an absence of handicaps. Rules initially favored big block V8s but by 1972 (after the Sox & Martin hemi-powered cars captured the first two Pro Stock titles handily) had changed to favor small-blocks to factor out the Chrysler Hemi cars.

On 1 July 1973, NHRA finally required Pro Stock drivers to have competition licences, just like blown or fuel dragsters and funny cars. [2]

Following a 1973 NHRA rule change to allow records to be set at any national meet, at the Winternationals, "Dyno Don" Nicholson set the first official Super Stock e.t. record with a 9.33, while Bill Jenkins turned in a record 148.76 mph (239.41 km/h) speed; later at the same event, Nicholson made a 9.01 second/150.50 mph (242.21 km/h) pass, breaking both his and Jenkins' records. [3]

In 1982, the NHRA implemented a new engine formula that allowed the big-blocks to return, due to the popularity of the Mountain Motor IHRA Pro Stock cars, which have unlimited displacement; NHRA limits engines to a maximum of 500 cu in (8,200 cc).

Lee Shepherd won the second of four championships in a row in 1983, the year he also won IHRA's title, making him the first driver ever to do so; he repeated the feat in 1984. [4]

Pro Stock today


dual 4-barrel carburetors on a "tunnel ram" intake manifold

The rules that exclude forced induction of any sort, plus allowing head modifications, have resulted in Pro Stock heads being the most sophisticated in any drag racing category, with valve lifts in the 1" region.

Modern Pro Stock engines generally produce around 2.5 hp/in³ (114 kW/L), and make upwards of 1,500+hp while being naturally aspirated. [13]

A complete NHRA Pro Stock engine can cost upwards of $100,000. [14]







In addition to all of these specifications, each car must:

This makes for some incredibly tight racing; the front runners in the class can reach speeds over 213 miles per hour (343 km/h) in 6.47 seconds (approx). The qualifications rounds are separated by less than a tenth of a second across all competitors. In a particularly tight qualifying roster, the difference from #1 to the final #16 qualifier may be only .05 seconds.

MMPSA cars, because of their massive 800+ cubic inch mountain motors, dip into the 6.30s at almost 220 miles per hour (354 km/h). Recently, a few cars have dipped into the 6.20s, with Brian Gahm being the first with a 6.29 second pass at Grand Bend Motorplex.

NHRA Pro Stock Champions (1974–present)

The most successful winning driver in Pro Stock is 10 times champion Bob Glidden. The driver with the most wins in a single season is three time champion Darrell Alderman, who won all but three events en route to his 1991 championship.

Most NHRA Pro Stock wins

Warren Johnson 97
Greg Anderson 91
Bob Glidden 85
Jeg Coughlin 61
Jason Line 48
Mike Edwards40
Kurt Johnson 40
Darrell Alderman28
Allen Johnson27
Dave Connolly26
Lee Shepherd 26
Jim Yates25
Erica Enders-Stevens 23
Bruce Allen 16
Vincent Nobile13
Tanner Gray13
Larry Morgan12
Frank Iaconio11
Bill Jenkins 11
Ronnie Sox 9
Scott Geoffrion 9
Butch Leal8
Jerry Eckman8
Ron Krisher8
Drew Skillman7
Chris McGaha 7
Bo Butner 7
Larry Lombardo6
Don Nicholson 6

See also


  1. Hot Rod online (retrieved 22 May 2017)
  2. Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "The Time Machine: 1973", written 17 August 2018, at (retrieved 16 September 2018)
  3. Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "The Time Machine: 1973", written 17 August 2018, at (retrieved 16 September 2018)
  4. Burgess, Phil, National Dragster editor. "Favorite Race Car Ever voting: 1980s and Beyond", written 11 August 2008, at (retrieved 27 September 2018)
  11. "NHRA Makes Changes To Pro Stock Class". National Speed Sport News . Turn 3 Media LLC. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  15. NHRA 2010 Rule Book Amendments Archived 2009-11-22 at the Wayback Machine .